We almost skipped Day/Night 1. pH was so atrociously behaved it put some of her three-year-old tantrums to shame. (If you have never experienced child tantrum PTSD, where any sound of the child after the tantrum makes you twitch and reach for your drug of choice, and you think I am making this up, you can take your perfect children and ignore this post.)

My husband made her vacuum the downstairs as penance and all became well. @BetsyWhim once warned me about the odd years when I was still stuck with pH, age 3: BetsyWhim is one smart lady.

Regarding gifts: I ruled the first night meant she had to wait until sundown, but subsequent days would allow gifts in the morning. She was unimpressed with Night 1 gifts, but liked them today. She was impressed with Day 2 gifts this morning, then played with Night 1 gifts. I dunno. Kids.

(The adults set budgets for holidays and buy our own. I informed my husband he bought me some very lovely and tasteful things, thank you very much, a few of which I waited to open because I have SOME willpower.)

By quirk of fate yesterday, a Modcloth order showed up. I was very excited about this because it had been 14 days and shipping was, well, 5-9. Whatever. SOME willpower, remember?

It was defective.

I was unhappy.

Regarding candles: kH scoured Maccabees, read from it on Night 1 (I have never heard my husband, who was once a very devout and conservative Christian, recite any part of any version of the nativity story, so that was interesting).* He required we put the menorah in the window (I felt like that was false advertising, because again, only .5% Sephardic here). We did. I was delighted to see the childproof lighter really is childproof. I am confused about the 9th candle. One of my Jewish friends posted a picture of his with the 9th candle and another lit last night. My husband had read it actually didn’t matter how many candles were lit at once as long as the menorah was in the window, but since I know all those rules about advent candles and the WTF that happens when an acolyte screws it up (not to mention the changing of liturgical underwear colors) I was pretty sure that a religion with a lot of rules should have some hard-and-fast citations on this, or at least some good case law.

But again. I’m the parent letting her play with fire, so I let it go.

Regarding the frying of potatoes: we are filling the tiny condo with guests Sunday, whereupon I will attempt to do latkes for the first time. I saw someone on Facebook (you know who you are) who put smoked salmon on hers and I’m stealing that.

Day 2: Today, by quirk of fate, a two year old Kickstarter reward showed up. Instead of an autographed “hardbound paperback,” I have a cheaply printed ARC. (I pledged $75, people, and I was really poor in 2012.)

I was unhappy. Maybe it’s the time I spent editing genre novels, but I hate ARCs (and only seek them out if I know the book is going to be priced for a university library). If they’re free, fine. Otherwise, I like final drafts.

Since one of the books/gifts kH “bought” for the holiday arrived relatively recently, at least I have that.

My child on Day 2? I wouldn’t say she was ideally behaved today, but it was pretty damned close. She did all the things and I was pretty sure I was going to get the Mother of the Year award when I said she could play Kinectimals (Now with Bears–that gets me every time. Now with Bears!) before supper.

I was completely opposed to this game (kH was the one who caved and got it a couple of weeks back) until I realized she was running and jumping and throwing the entire time. Perfect.

Well, two down, six to go. So far, so good. It is less stress. I love the menorah. I love not having the Christmas STUFF overwhelming us, the memory of Christmases past weighing on me, and the fun of doing something totally new for us. But again, with apologies to my Jewish readers who have probably facepalmed through this post: I appreciate your forbearance. So far my biggest stress is whether the candles will burn down the house.


*My brothers used to re-arrange the creche. They’d put the animals around the Baby Jesus and the adults and angels off to the side, arguing with each other. Which…pretty much sums up our childhood.